Letter to CoaH New Bedford Families – December 11, 2019

Dear City on a Hill New Bedford Families:

In an ongoing effort to keep you informed of important developments at our school, I am writing to:

  • Announce the naming of a new Interim Principal, Dr. Lisa Dion;
  • Invite you to meet with Dr. Dion, City on a Hill Board of Trustees Chairperson, Dr. Cara Stillings-Candal or myself during the week of December 16 to discuss school year 2020-21 options for your child;
  • Inform you that all classes will occur at our Acushnet Ave. campus beginning in January 2020.


Effective on Wednesday, December 11, Dr. Lisa Dion has been named the Interim Principal. Dr. Dion has a Doctorate in educational leadership, was most recently the Vice Principal of City on a Hill Circuit Street in Boston. She previously served in several roles within New Bedford Public Schools. Dr. Dion has graciously agreed to take on the task of helping us effectively complete the 2019-20 school year. 


As we have previously stated, our school will continue to operate and serve current students through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, with the last day of instruction expected to take place on June 18, 2020, unless there are additional snow days that would extend the school year. Please know that we are fully committed to finishing the year strong and to helping every family transition to a new school for the 2020-21 school year. This means that we expect our seniors to graduate from CoaH New Bedford in June 2020 and have no plans to close before the end of the school year.

To that end, and as you may recall from the New Bedford family meeting on Wednesday, December 4, the Chair of the CoaH Board of Trustees, Dr. Cara Stillings-Candal, and I pledged to research your questions and make ourselves available to meet with you to personally discuss your child’s future. We, along with Dr. Dion, are available to meet individually between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, December 16-20, 2020. Please call the main office at (508) 985-6400 to schedule your meeting. The meetings are planned for 20 minutes apiece, though we recognize some will last longer than others. We hope that by offering times during and after school hours, we will be able to accommodate your specific scheduling needs.

Recognizing that every student’s situation is unique, on Tuesday, December 10, our Director of School Operations, Callie Pope, and I met in-person with Mr. Thomas Anderson, Superintendent of the New Bedford Public Schools, to pave a path for our students to transfer to a New Bedford public school as seamlessly as possible. We are also exploring with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the possibility of interested students continuing their education at other district public school and charter public school options in the New Bedford area. 

In the individual meetings, we will share the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) document the Superintendent’s Office has developed along with the contact information for other schools in the area, and work with you to identify the best path forward for your son or daughter in 2020-21 and beyond.


As you know, some of our students presently have classes at our campus at 105 William St. Beginning January 2020, all classes of City on a Hill New Bedford will take place  at 384 Acushnet Ave. Furniture and equipment will be moved from William St. to Acushnet Ave. over the holiday break to accommodate this change. Being under the same roof will allow us to concentrate our resources to maximize educational outcomes for all students.

Lastly, I recognize that this letter does not answer all of the questions that were raised in the family meeting Wednesday, December 4 nor in the days since the Board voted to relinquish the charter effective at the end of June 2020. I hope this message shows that we are working to provide answers and will remain in constant communication with you as information becomes available.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. Thank you for continuing to entrust us with your children.


Kevin T. Taylor

Chief Executive Officer


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